Accrington Cricket Club

A look ahead to the 2004 season
First Team Manager Ian Wilson

Ian Wilson
Ian Wilson

The 2004 season is now almost upon us and I am delighted to welcome back Tama Canning as Professional to the club. In his previous season with us in 2001 he scored over 900 runs and took 53 wickets, so he certainly knows what is required in the Lancashire League. Since then Tama has emerged as an outstanding player in New Zealand State Cricket, made his debut at International level and was voted Auckland's Player of the Season last April.

The squad for the 2004 season shows only one or two changes in personnel from 2003. We have seen Paul Barratt emigrate to New Zealand and the retirement of Steve Juliff and we wish both of them well, although I am hopeful that Steve will still be around the club to pass on his wealth of experience to the younger players.

For 2004 we welcome Adam Wilson to the club, a stylish and steady top order batsman Adam has been away from cricket for a few seasons. Persuaded back to the game by brother Matt, he could be a very useful asset to the club once he has settled in, and with the impressive return to the club toward the end of last season of Richard Burrows, there is a solid look about the batting line-up this time around.

The "younger" players that we have been talking about for a couple of years now - James Hayhurst, Mohsin Ahmed, Graeme Sneddon etc all had fine seasons last year and are maturing into very good cricketers indeed. With a nice blend of youth and the experience of seasoned campaigners such as Damian Clarke, Adam Barnes and Zahir Afzal I feel there is much to be optimistic about for the season ahead. Under the captaincy of Matt Wilson the team is more than capable of fulfilling some of the expectations from last year and I certainly expect NOT to be languishing towards the bottom of the table come next September. With a pro' who is certainly capable of winning matches for us don't rule out a decent cup run either.

For some of the younger players in the second eleven I envisage there will be opportunities in the first team throughout the season. So who will be the next to break into the firsts and stay there? Stuart Crabtree, Scott Hudson and Sagawat Hussain have all played in the first team and have the potential to become outstanding cricketers. The ball as they say is in their court, all I can say is "when the chance comes make sure you grasp it with both hands".

So bring on the 2004 season and lets see "Accy" climb that league table. I for one will be very disappointed if we don't.

See you around the grounds.

Ian Wilson - April 6th 2004

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